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Sunday, March 20, 2011

No Fly Zone

I apologize to all whom this falls upon, since my taxes partly paid for it. 

I find it curious that the Islamic world so heartily embraced the concept of a no-fly zone over Libya. UN Security Council Resolution 1973 grants the western coalition, they drafted it after all, a carte-blanc to do whatever it deems necessary to protect Libyan citizens from Muammar Gaddafi and his loyalist forces.

A No-Fly Zone, is permitted, of course, and will be the first military undertaking by Western forces. Bombing of Libya will have to happen of course. Radar installations, Gaddafi's supply depots, airports, aircraft, tanks, etcetera, etcetera, will all have to be destroyed.

Cruise missiles by the hundreds, a lot of them Tomahawks, have already flown, launched by US Cruisers in the Mediterranean, and at a cost of nearly $600,000 a pop, have destroyed much of Gaddafi's military infrastructure across the country. [Note 1]

The picture conjured by the term, is one of peace. Nothing after all is flying, that is except for the coalition forces.

The term 'no-fly zone' seemed to offer a panacea to the growing conflict within Libya. It became a buzz phrase repeated by liberal Arabs across the region. 'Please help us, please put a no-fly zone over Libya!'

It was as if those three words themselves offered an instant shield against the aggressions of Gaddafi, and the miseries of an escalating civil war.

I decided to see how many English anagrams there were for the phrase 'No Fly Zone'.

It turns out there are only five. Here are two:

'No Fez Only' and 'Fez Only On'.

The Fez! That bandeau, that beret, of the Ottoman Turks, that obligatory headdress of the Turkish Muslim world, sported by all liberal and loyal Muslims, at least in Western eyes, as they lurked in Western consciousness for so many years. To be truthful, the fez is very much out of date, and symbolic of regional acceptance of Ottoman oppression.

Could the term 'No Fly Zone', be appealing to nostalgic yearnings of Muslims across the region? A sort of magic linguistic truth potion, like a fez. You put it on and everything beneath it, is peaceful.

'No Fez Only', The Fez is allowed, but you must wear other clothes too, however it is not obligatory, 'Fez Only, No'.

The Fez should not be anything more than a hat, 'Fez only On'. It's not a purse, or a seat cushion, or a cummerbun.

Alas, the humble fez, red and soft, is no defense against a Tomahawk. I don't mean to imply that the Tomahawk 'sees' the fez, and thus aims for it, not at all, rather the Tomahawk has been programmed to strike a particular target, and is usually accurate to within a few meters.

Gaddafi's fez is green, but I'm sure he has a red one somewhere.

Ah, the Fez is a dream of an Arab past!

Again, history is supplying a more bitter reality than dreams and expectations, conjured by the words of leaders across the region.

As I write this, Tomahawks are falling on Libya. How did the cruise missiles get to Libya. Well they flew there, of course! 'Zone Fly On!'

Innocent people are dying. The Arab League is crying, "We didn't ask for bombs!".

Listen dudes, read UN Security Resolution number 1973 carefully. You agreed to it. It allows the coalition partners to do pretty much anything they want!

Meanwhile Gaddafi has stepped up the murderous backlash against his own people. And through all of this, is it possible to see a resolution to the tribal hatreds that exist within the region?

Not at all. The bloodshed will go on and on and on.

This isn't what Libya asked for! This isn't even what America bargained for! What is happening?

The 'No Fly Zone' should be a peaceful undertaking, one that is . .. 'Only of Zen'.

Whatever we do, we shouldn't allow Scrabble to be played anywhere in the world with these letters, else the region will become a 'Felony Zone' . . . or God forbid, . . .

a 'No Life Zone'.


1. If 200 Tomahawks are used during the early stages of the conflict, that's $120 million dollars of re-supply business for Raytheon's Arizona plant, homestate of famous 'dove' Senator John McCain ;)

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